Purpose: Increased awareness and understanding of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an important aspect of disease management. The aim of this study was to explore COPD awareness among smokers participating in a smoking cessation program. Materials and Methods: Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 289 subjects in three smoking cessation clinics, using a structured questionnaire. Results: A total of 68.2% of subjects had COPD-related symptoms, and 19.7% were in poor health. Only 1.0% of the subjects knew that COPD was a respiratory disease. A total of 2.4% of subjects had been diagnosed with COPD and received treatment. Television was the most common source of information about COPD, with 57.1% of the subjects receiving information in this way. After being informed about COPD, smoking-cessation willingness increased in 84.1% of the study group. It increased in 86.3% of the subjects without awareness of COPD and in 81.2% of subjects with COPD-related symptoms. Conclusion: We found that awareness of COPD is very poor among current smokers in Korea. Many smokers perceived their health status as good, despite the presence of COPD-related symptoms. As the level of smoking-cessation willingness was different between those with and without awareness of COPD or COPD-related symptoms, a personalized education program with various educational tools may be needed to enhance awareness of the disease and to motivate smokers to quit.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
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